Just Married (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/03/2003

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 94 mins

Average teen comedy that raises a few decent laughs – an undemanding date movie.

Just Married is one of those films that tend to come with the legend “The NUMBER ONE COMEDY in America!” emblazoned on the poster. More often than not, this actually means very little, frequently translating as ‘it was on the most screens that weekend and everything else was worse’. In this case, however, it is at least in small part, also a testament to the popularity of its lead actors, real-life couple Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy. Although it’s still not all that good.

Honeymoon From Hell

Kutcher and Murphy play Tom and Sarah, a young couple who meet, fall in love and get married all within the opening few scenes. However, since the film is told in flashback, we know that they return from their honeymoon having broken up, so the film proceeds to tell the story of their Honeymoon From Hell, as well as throwing in a few people trying to split them up, such as Christian Kane (from TV’s Angel).

The structure of the film (subtly reversing the normal course of romcoms) is probably the most original thing about it. The rest of the film relies too much on shrieking, gross-out gags (the cockroach scene will cause a jump or two in the audience) and slapstick, although to be fair, the slapstick scenes are effectively done, thanks to an over-enthusiastic sound effects department.

The script itself isn’t all that original and there are no memorable lines, but the chemistry of Kutcher and Murphy just about pulls it through. Murphy has built her career on playing ditzy best friend characters (Riding In Cars With Boys, Clueless) so it’s nice to see her finally break through into romantic leads alongside her more dramatic roles (8 Mile etc).

Anton Who?

As for Kutcher, he’s virtually unknown over here, unless you’re familiar with either Dude, Where’s My Car? or the criminally under-shown sitcom That 70s Show, for which he’s a household name in the States.

He plays the endearingly stupid Michael Kelso on the show and hasn’t really varied the routine for Just Married, which is no big problem as a) it’s what his fans are expecting and b) he’s extremely good at it. At any rate, they make an appealing couple.

In short, Just Married is an instantly forgettable, undemanding date movie that should do well within its target audience of teenagers, but is otherwise nothing special. Still, it has a couple of decent laughs and it’s watchable enough if you’ve seen everything else.

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Content updated: 15/12/2017 02:44

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